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15.10.2008

Good fishing in newly opened areas

HB Grandi's factory trawler Therney RE docked yesterday in Reykjavík after a 31 day trip on Westfjords fishing grounds. The catch was predominantly redfish, with 410 tonnes of product valued at 150 million Isl Kr at the Central Bank's exchange rate at the beginning of this week.

Skipper Ægir Fransson says that this trip was spent largely on areas that have only recently been opened after extended closures.

'For instance, a redfish box has been opened up off the Vikuráll grounds that has been closed for years, and we had some good redfish catches there. To begin with we were getting around two tonnes per towing hour and all this was large, good quality deep sea redfish that is just what the Japanese market wants. After a while we were down to a tonne per towing hour, but this catch rate is just what the factory deck needs. 25 to 30 tonnes per day is just right for us,' said Ægir Fransson and added that most of the Icelandic factory vessels that fish for redfish were in the same area.

According to Ægir Fransson, the reason for the Westfjords closed boxes being re-opened is that as sea temperatures have risen and the smaller fish that used to be found there have gone elsewhere.

'Another box on the Horn Bank that had been closed for many years, has been opened up in stages and there we had some excellent fishing on haddock and saithe. This is a very positive development and opening up these boxes spreads the fishing effort out and reduces the pressure on the area we have been fishing most on recently,' Ægir Fransson says, adding that weather has been difficult, with regular storms and not many breaks in between.

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